LUCAS LEIVA is hoping a strong finish to the season with Liverpool will help him force his way back into the Brazil squad.
The 26-year-old midfielder, who wasn't involved in last night's friendly against England at Wembley, hasn't added to his tally of 20 international caps since the cruciate ligament injury he suffered in November 2011.
However, Lucas believes he's getting close to recapturing his best form as he prepares to make his 200th appearance for the Reds in Monday night's home clash with West Brom.
“It would have been nice to play against Stevie (Gerrard) and England at Wembley but unfortunately my injuries cost me,” said Lucas, who was signed from Gremio for £5million in 2007.
“I just need to get back playing well and hopefully be involved in the next squad.
“I think I am very close to where I want to be. It's been a long journey for me but I have to be patient, keep calm and try to just keep working the same way.
“Hopefully I'll be feeling better and better with every single game.
“It has been a long journey for me to reach 200 games but I wouldn't change anything.
“I'm really looking forward to playing my 200th game for Liverpool at Anfield. It will be a special night for me and I will try to enjoy it as much as I can.”
Lucas is desperate to ensure Brendan Rodgers' side build on the impressive back to back performances against Arsenal and Manchester City.
On both occasions Liverpool had to settle for a point having been in front, but the Brazilian insists there were plenty of positives as they look to launch a push for a Champions League spot.
“I thought we were the better team from the first minute at City and controlled the game,” he added.
“We created more chances than them and at the end we conceded a silly goal which cost us two points. We just need to improve on that and make sure we win these type of games.
“I think both games were mixed emotions for us.
“We were winning both games and we have to analyse that.
“We played well in both games and maybe in a few parts of both of them we lost a little bit of the momentum. We need to improve on that and build for the next game.
“We need to get a good run going again. We know the gap is big but we need to keep believing and try to finish as high as we can.”